Many times, both spouses agree that they should no longer be together and that divorce is the best option. However, some divorces are different. For instance, one spouse may want out of the marriage, while the other one wants to stay married no matter what. In fact, some spouses threaten not to sign divorce papers in an effort to keep the marriage legally intact. Or, they may simply not want to sign divorce papers with language they feel paints them in negative light.
The tactic to refuse to sign may scare the other partner or keep them from contacting a divorce lawyer. Yet it should never scare someone from filing for divorce.
Signing Is Unnecessary
As long as divorce papers are served successfully, the party who wants the divorce has done their due diligence. Typically, papers are served by a private process server. The spouse who is served divorce papers does not have to sign them to start the divorce process. They simply have to receive them. If they refuse to sign and return them, the filing party can ask for a default judgment granting the divorce.
Individuals who anticipate their spouse may not agree to sign the papers may want to file a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce is often less contentious than a divorce that outlines the fault of the other party. Many people who refuse to sign divorce papers based on fault grounds are open to signing ones that do not appear to point fingers. If they do not, the complaining party can request a contested divorce and get a default judgment.
Those seeking a divorce should talk about these potential issues with their lawyer before creating the divorce documents. That way, everyone is ready in case the other spouse does refuse to sign.
Courts Can Intervene
When a contested divorce is necessary, the parties will have a hearing to determine why the divorce is being contested. At that point, the court will help decide how to settle the problems between the parties. However, the court will never make the person requesting a divorce go back to the other spouse. If the other spouse does not show up to the hearing, the court can enter a default judgment based on the divorce documents.
This should make individuals who want to remove themselves from a marriage feel more comfortable proceeding with divorce proceedings, even if they suspect their spouse will make the process difficult by refusing to sign and forcing a contested divorce.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Clients Navigate Divorce Challenges
Have you put off filing for divorce in Maryland because you know your spouse is going to make the process challenging? The Towson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC are available to talk with you during a free initial consultation to discuss your legal options. Please call our offices in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, at 443-589-0150 or complete an online form.
Areas we serve include Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.